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Women of the Wasatch’s 2024 Break Down the Barrier Scholarship

It’s probably not a secret that, here at WoW, we LOVE trail running. It allows us to get outside, challenge ourselves, connect with our local community, and enjoy the beautiful mountains we’re lucky to call home. 

That said, the cost of trail running is expensive! Getting the right pair of shoes, a running vest, nutrition, and recovery products quickly add up, not to mention the time and research needed to find the right product for you. And while trail racing is a great way to challenge yourself and discover new trails, the cost of the race itself—coupled with the challenge of figuring out how to train—adds additional burdens. On top of that, folks with female anatomy also face more financial barriers in general: from the cost of feminine hygiene products to the gender pay gap, costs associated with motherhood and pregnancy,  the pink tax, and so much more. 

Each year, we offer a Break Down the Barrier Scholarship to women and nonbinary folks to help break down the financial barrier to trail running and close the gender gap in trail running. Read on to learn everything you need to know about our 2024 scholarship and to apply! 

What the Scholarship Includes

This year, we are offering three scholarships to women and nonbinary runners who are facing financial and additional barriers in pursuing trail running. One scholarship will be reserved for an underrepresented runner in the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, or adaptive communities. 

Scholarship winners will be officially announced at the WoW Fundraising Gala on April 4th! Scholarship recipients will receive free entry to this event.

Recipients of the 2024 Break Down the Barrier Scholarship will receive: 

The Gear

  • A trail running kit from Nike including a top, shorts, tights, sports bra, jacket, footwear, and hydration vest

  • A yoga mat and other goodies from lululemon

  • $50 gift certificate for Salt Lake Running Company

  • 1 set of Chirp Recovery Wheels

  • Kahtoola Spikes

  • Injinji Socks

  • 1 Racin Grayson Running Journal 

  • 1 Pair Heart Shaped Pit Vipers 

  • Period care from Saalt

  • 1 Cotopaxi bag to carry it all!

The Fuel

  • 3 month supply of Kodiak Cakes

  • $50 gift certificate to Gnarly Nutrition

  • Starter bundle from Näak

The Race

  • 4 months of coaching from Tara Warren at On the Mountain Coaching and one of the following races:

    • Run Borderlands Salt Lake Foothills 50K + Half Marathon (May 11)

    • Scout Mountain Ultras (June 7-8 in Pocatello, ID)

    • Triple Trail Challenge: Round Valley Rambler (June 8), Jupiter Peak 25K (July 20), or Mid Mountain 50K (August 17)

    • Cirque Series Brighton (June 29), Snowbird (July 13), or Alta (August 17)

    • Buffalo Run Adventures: Antelope Island Fall Classic 50K (November 2)

How to Apply

Scholarship recipients will be selected based on their enthusiasm for trail running and demonstrated need, based on their responses in two short essays. Each essay will contribute to 50% of the total score and will be judged anonymously by the Women of the Wasatch leadership team. Trail running experience is not required to enter—just a love for moving in the outdoors and a desire to channel that passion into trail running.

The essays will be evaluated based on how well they answer the questions and the demonstrated passion and need. While all essays must be in English, we understand that English may not be some applicants’ first language and will consider this as we read them. We've included some questions below to help guide and inspire your essays.

Short Essay 1: What does trail running mean to you? 

  • Why do you love the trails? 

  • What excites you about trail running or moving in the outdoors?

  • What do you love about running, hiking, or any other endurance activity?

Short Essay 2: What barriers, financial and/or other, have you faced in pursuing trail running? What would receiving this scholarship enable you to do?

  • Describe some financial burdens or barriers that you face

  • Describe any other barriers that have prevented you from trail running (lack of knowledge, lack of diversity in outdoor recreation, access barriers, etc)

  • What has prevented you from pursuing trail running or making it one of your main activities?

  • If you currently participate in outdoor recreation, what difficulties have you faced in acquiring your current gear?

  • What scholarship prizes excite you the most? How would you use the prizes?

Apply Now for WoW’s 2024 Break Down the Barrier Scholarship 

The scholarship application is available from March 1, 2024, to March 10, 2024. You can apply at this link. All applications will be anonymously reviewed from March 11 - March 17, and selected recipients will be announced at our gala on April 4th! 

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